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When Dr Philip Raven, an intellectual working for the League of Nations, dies in 1930 he leaves behind a powerful legacy an unpublished dream book'. Inspired by visions he has experienced for many years, it appears to be a book written far into the future: a history of humanity from the date of his death up to 2105. The Shape of Things to Come provides this history of the future', an account that was in some ways remarkably prescient predicting climatic disaster and sweeping cultural changes, including a Second World War, the rise of chemical warfare, and political instabilities in the Middle East.
H.G. Wells was a professional writer and journalist, who published more than a hundred books, including novels, histories, essays and programmes for world regeneration. Wells's prophetic imagination was first displayed in pioneering works of science fiction, but later he became an apostle of socialism, science and progress. His controversial views on sexual equality and the shape of a truly developed nation remain directly relevant to our world today. He was, in Bertrand Russell's words, 'an important liberator of thought and action'. John Clute is the co-editor of The Encyclopaedia of Science Fiction with Peter Nicholls. He has written much sf criticism, and for his criticism in general he has won the Pilgrim Award and the ICFA Distinguished Guest Scholar Award. Patrick Parrinder has written on H.G. Wells, science fiction, James Joyce and the history of the English novel. Since 1986 he has been Professor of English at the University of Reading. John Partington has written widely on H.G. Wells' science fiction and political thought, including his most recent book Building Cosmopolis. He is the editor of The Wellsian, the the annual journal of the H.G. Wells Society.